WE RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING PLANS

  • Advertise Here
  • Advertise Here
  • Advertise Here
  • Advertise Here

Android Or iOS Dominating Tablets? Developer Economics Has The Answer

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 30 November 2013 10:28 pm

Android Or iOS Dominating Tablets? Developer Economics Has The Answer

Android is big in tablets. The problem is that no one has a clue how big it is. While Apple happily reports its rising unit sales for tablets, Samsung and other major Android distributors keep mum. Hence, we’re largely left in the dark as to just how many Android tablets are being bought and used.

But developers may help us understand Android’s market penetration.

Android’s ‘Dark Matter’

By some estimates, Android will claim as much as 65% of the tablet market in 2014. IDC puts the number a bit lower, but by any estimate Android is booming.

As in smartphones, Android adoption is on overdrive due to giving consumers, particularly in developing markets, a low-cost alternative to Apple’s premium pricing. Commenting on Android’s rise, Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling argues that “Apple’s decline in PC market share [which includes tablets] is unavoidable when considering its business model.”

Well, maybe.

The problem is counting Android accurately. Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, commenting on Benedict Evans’ analysis of Android use, highlights the difficulty in getting an accurate read on Android tablet adoption:

There are no firms which report their shipments

They are not sold through retail chains which normally are sampled in the US and Europe (NPD and GfK respectively.)

They don’t show up in browsing or ad transaction data

Google Play statistics are missing most of the activations since they are not sold as bona fide Google-sanctioned Android.

It should be easy to track Android adoption by measuring web traffic. Yet Android users lag considerably behind iOS users – on smartphones and tablets – when it comes to web usage, something I pointed out a year ago. Dediu posits that Android tablets must be used as glorified video consoles, and maybe he’s right.

But his more interesting suggestion is that we can track tablet adoption by measuring payments to developers.

A Market Is Big When Developers Get Paid

Commenting on why some popular technologies like the video CD die quickly, Dediu declares that developer interest ensures a technology sticks around. And developer interest ultimately comes down to cash:

Whether the dark matter Video-only Android device will come to swamp the iPad will depend not on just volume shipments in select geographies. It will depend largely on the ecosystems built around it. The ecosystems of VCD were largely unsustainable because there was no value placed on the content itself. The value chain did not strive to sustain the technology. When something better came along, it got dropped.

In contrast, content-based value chains sustain technologies which keep the revenues coming. And we can measure this revenue.

You don’t need to look too hard for that in tablets. Apple states it quite frequently: total payments to developers.

Not long ago Apple announced that developers had minted $13 billion selling apps for the iOS platform. Google doesn’t report similar data for Android, in part because it can’t due to the fragmented Android ecosystem, but Business Insider has compiled its own statistics, which show Android well behind iOS but closing the gap:

Android developers are likely to get paid even more going forward, as Google has significantly ratcheted up its efforts to improve monetization for Android developers. Indeed, speaking at Google I/O earlier this year, Google’s VP of Android product management Hugo Barra told I/O attendees that Google had paid more to Android developers in the 4 months leading up to I/O than the previous 12 months before that combined.

Closing The Developer Payment Gap

However dim our insight may be into actual Android shipments and adoption, it’s likely to get better as Google improves developer monetization and (hopefully) starts reporting Android developer payments, as Apple does. Given the very real possibility that Android tablets remain a limited-use alternative to the iPad’s multi-use playground, one would expect payments to Android tablet developers to fall far short of what Apple pays iPad developers.

But if, in fact, we see Android developers banking equal or greater amounts of money from this allegedly “dark” adoption, then it will tell us that our understanding of Android usage patterns is way off. Either way, the answer lies in developers.

New Malware Strain Creation Hits Record Levels

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 30 November 2013 4:27 pm

Although security vendors continue to do their best to conquer malware, malware authors continue to up the ante. According to Panda Labs’ third-quarter 2013 report, new malware creation is now at an all-time high.

PandaLabs reported that from January to September 2013, there have been nearly 10 million new malware strains identified, which is as many as PandaLabs saw in all of 2012.

There are a number of reasons for such malware strain growth, Luis Corrons, PandaLabs’ technical director, told eWEEK.

Read the full story at eWEEK:
10 Million Pieces of Malware and Counting in 2013: Report

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Shoppers whip out mobile gadgets to tackle Black Friday madness

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Saturday 30 November 2013 10:22 am

Mobile shopping was all the rage this Black Friday, accounting for 39.7 percent of all online traffic — a jump of an impressive 34 percent over last year’s post Thanksgiving Day shopping free-for-all.

That’s according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark report for Thanksgiving weekend 2013, which tracked millions of transactions from about 800 U.S. retail Web sites.

Actual sales from mobile gadgets were strong too: 21.8 percent of total online sales, an uptick of almost 43 percent over last year.

Here’re some other
Black Friday numbers and factoids from the IBM report:

  • It was a record Black Friday for e-commerce, with online sales climbing 18.9 percent over last year. Average order value was $135.27, a 2.2 percent increase over 2012.
  • Smartphones accounted for 24.9 percent of all online traffic, compared with 14.2 percent for
    tablets. When buying time arrived, however, tablets were tapped twice as often: logging 14.4 percent of all online sales, compared with smartphones’ 7.2 percent.
  • Tablet users spent $132.75 per order on average, compared with $115.63 from smartphone users, a 15 percent difference.
  • Apple’s iOS mobile operating system had the edge on
    Android. Users of iOS spent $127.92 per order, compared with $105.20 from users of Android. iOS traffic accounted for 28.2 percent of all online traffic, compared with Android’s 11.4 percent, and iOS sales reached 18.1 percent of all online sales, compared with Android’s 3.5 percent.
  • In the social-media realm, shoppers referred from Pinterest spent 77 percent more per order on average than shoppers referred from Facebook — $92.51 as opposed to $52.30. But quantity counts too: Facebook referrals converted sales at nearly four times the rate of Pinterest referrals.
  • Black Friday prompted people to install retailers’ mobile apps so they could get the latest updates on deals. Average daily retail app installations on Thanksgiving Day and BF combined were 23 percent higher than they were during the two months leading up to the Mad Shopping Weekend. And retailers took advantage, sending 37 percent more push notifications on T Day and BF combined, compared with those same two months.
  • The top five cities for online shopping on Black Friday were New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

HP Reports 4Q13 Earnings

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 29 November 2013 4:16 pm

For the quarter, HP reported revenue of $29.1 billion, down three percent year-over-year. For HP’s full fiscal 2013, revenue was $112.3 billion, down 7 percent year-over-year.

“With the final quarter of our fix and rebuild year now behind us, I am pleased with our progress in fiscal 2013,” Whitman said during her company’s earnings call. “As we said, when we laid out our five-year plan, we expected that our turnaround would not be linear and we saw that during the year.”

One area where HP is improving is within its Enterprise Group, which reported $7.6 billion in revenue, representing year-over-year growth of two percent in the fourth quarter. Whitman said that the fourth quarter Enterprise Group growth is that first time that business unit has grown revenue in eight quarters.

Read the full story at Datamation:
HP Plants Acorns for Future Growth in 2014

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

HP Reports 4Q13 Earnings

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 29 November 2013 4:16 pm

For the quarter, HP reported revenue of $29.1 billion, down three percent year-over-year. For HP’s full fiscal 2013, revenue was $112.3 billion, down 7 percent year-over-year.

“With the final quarter of our fix and rebuild year now behind us, I am pleased with our progress in fiscal 2013,” Whitman said during her company’s earnings call. “As we said, when we laid out our five-year plan, we expected that our turnaround would not be linear and we saw that during the year.”

One area where HP is improving is within its Enterprise Group, which reported $7.6 billion in revenue, representing year-over-year growth of two percent in the fourth quarter. Whitman said that the fourth quarter Enterprise Group growth is that first time that business unit has grown revenue in eight quarters.

Read the full story at Datamation:
HP Plants Acorns for Future Growth in 2014

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 29 November 2013 4:16 pm

“What I learned from Gluster is, if you want to be open-source and you want to make a difference, you have to be radically different and present a significantly newer way of doing things.”

– Ben Golub, CEO of Docker (eWEEK)

“You’ve heard me say we get to plant acorns that will eventually become oak trees”

– Meg Whitman, CEO of HP talking about the 3D Printing business (Datamation)

“A lot of technologies have come and gone, and then there are technologies that have come and stayed relevant. At the end of the day, what it comes down to is if the technology is solving a problem and if it is reliable and cost-efficient.”

– Markus Flierl, vice president of software development for Solaris Core Technology at Oracle (eWEEK)

“We’ve been able to develop hundreds and hundreds of leads from dissatisfied or confused Sourcefire customers. “

– Palo Alto CEO Mark McLaughlin commenting on competition during his company’s earnings call (Enterprise Networking Planet)

“We’re playing long ball here. This technology will be around longer than me.” 

-Tony Befi, vice president of Enterprise Systems Program Management in IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, talking about UNIX (eWEEK)

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Think Email Is Dead Outside Of Work?

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Friday 29 November 2013 10:11 am

Think Email Is Dead Outside Of Work?

A 2012 Harvard Business School study, “E-Mail: Not Dead, Evolving,” found “communication between individuals—the original intent of e-mail—isn’t even listed in the top five activities” of how we use email today.

I have worked in the world of technology since 1982 and even worked as the vice president of an email services company. I tend to lean pretty heavily on email in my work world, but I have noticed how its use is changing in my personal life.

My most technologically literate friend, Stephen, and I often communicate by Twitter. Some friends who used to send me emails now mostly communicate with me by comments on my Facebook feed. Some even presume that I might stoop to reading Facebook email which I listed as one of the ten things that the tech industry should fix.

I have found that my thirty-something friends and family prefer to text me on my smart-phone. I am okay with that since I found the MightyText app that lets me send and receive text messages from my Google Chrome browser and on my tablet.

My personal reality seemed to be shaping up to a handful of people outside of work who still communicate with me by email. Even some of them are only responding to emails that I send. The golden age of personal email seemed to be receding into the mists of time.

It is different in the business world, where stats show that 48% of consumers prefer email as the communication with their brands. That explains why I have spent the last week trying to decide between Constant Contact and MailChimp as email marketing platforms.

Can Email Be The Great Equalizer?

About six months ago, two things happened to change the dynamic that emails are dying as a form of communication in my personal life. First I got elected to the board of directors of our homeowners association (HOA). Second, our minister decided that communication between the committees led by the elders of the church would go go electronic.

One of the reasons I got elected to the HOA board was the hope that I would create an online calendar and perhaps establish email communication between the board and homeowners. I did end up doing all of that but it turned out to be the easy part of the volunteer job.

At the church, I was already in charge of our website, and the communications committee.

Together, these two events gave me a completely new perspective and perhaps a hope that email for communication between people outside of business still has some life even if it will not be as glamorous as the earlier days of email.

Most of us in the technology world work in environments where we share files on a regular basis. At WideOpen Networks, my day job, we use Skype, Dropbox, and Highrise to share a lot of Pages files. When I am writing an article for ReadWrite, I often write the article in Google Docs and I can usually just attach the file directly through Trello, the content management solution which we use or upload a rich text format (RTF) document to a Trello card.

In both work cases, I am dealing with folks who understand files and things like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and Skydrive. If there is a problem, it usually can easily be solved by sending someone a RTF document.

Life is not nearly simple when you start trying to share files with people of varying ages and technology skills.

The Challenges Of Email And File Sharing

When I started sending my files to other church elders, I thought the easiest and most foolproof thing would be to share a document and send the sharing notice with the content of the report pasted into the email. To be blunt, that was a disaster. Some complained that they could not even open my email. It left me wondering how that could be.

The mystery started to clear when it occurred to me that a lot of people have become occasional email users and they are accessing their email on everything from a browser to get to ISP-provided email to iPads and smartphones with a variety of email clients—some of which an email snob like me considers pretty shaky.

One of my preferred technologies is IMAP email and preferably IMAP on a server in the cloud that I manage or one that is managed by people who actually know what they are doing and are focused on getting my email from me to the people I want to contact. While I use Gmail (IMAP version of course) for personal email, it is not my choice for business email.

I am not a big fan of webmail portals, which I considered are at best a necessary evil when a hotel’s Internet service blocks a port and makes it impossible to use client-based email.

When I started looking at the email providers used by some of the people with whom I was trying to communicate, I knew that attachments were likely going to be problems.

One Man’s Battle With Attachments

Recently, I found out just how much of a problem attachments can be even in a very small group. At our most recent HOA board meeting, I ended up being the secretary when Anne, our very competent secretary, had to take one of her children to the doctor.

I managed to scribble down some notes and took Anne’s advice and typed them up that same evening while things were still fresh in my mind. I actually tried typing them up in Pages 5, since I was writing my Why Less Might Be More In Pages 5 article. I had some trouble getting the bullet numbering right so I moved it to Google Docs and actually sent her a Word docx file. There were a few details that needed to be added a little later before the minutes were finalized.

A few days later she sent out the completed minutes. I had no trouble viewing the file she sent but I did notice that somehow the file extension had been stripped. I added a .RTF to it and opened it file in Word, but strangely it would not open in Nisus Writer Express or Page 5. I chalked that up to stuff that just happens in the computer world.

We were already having more than a little trouble getting everyone’s approval on the emailed minutes attachment before printing and being mailed out. When we did not hear from the other two board members regarding the attachment, I sent an email to Anne and said that since she was out of town I would print the minutes and take them to the other board members. I did that at noon the next day.

At the first board member’s house, I was told they had two computers and one computer seemed to be eating all the emails before the other one could read them. Following my rule of never getting involved in solving a technology problem unless the person is a blood relative, I did not bring up the subject that their email was likely POP and the first computer was likely removing the email from the server. I handed them the printed copy and just made sure the board member was happy with it.

At the second and last house, the wife of the HOA’s president took the printed copy and said she would deliver them to her husband when they met for lunch later that afternoon.

I did not think anything more of our problems until the president of the HOA showed up at my door that same Saturday afternoon. While he had gotten the printed copy of the file that I delivered, he wanted to know why he could not open the attachment sent by our secretary. He had tried unsuccessfully on his Android tablet and Android smartphone.

It took me a minute to remember the missing file extension on the attachment and a lot longer to find a free app, OfficeSuite, to install on his smartphone. Just to be perverse, before I forward him the file again, I added a .docx extension to the original file the secretary had sent. I tested the file on Mobile Office 365 on my smartphone before opening it without any problem on his smartphone using OfficeSuite. He left happy that he could read the minutes. I did not spoil the good feeling by telling him a program could easily strip the extension again the next time the minutes are sent.

Lessons Learned

All of this is far more complex than it needs to be. Holding classes on how to collaborate with others using electronic devices is beyond what I want to tackle in an area that I love but which gets most of its time sensitive communications from hand-lettered bed sheets on posts at the intersection of the main highways instead of through Twitter.

It turn out that email is the solution. You just have to keep it very simple. If you have to share something with people with whom you do not work, do not do attachments. Just copy the text of your report and paste it as plain text into an email.

Do not even dream of trying to get a diverse group of people using Google Drive or Dropbox, just be smart and revert to the simplest email that you can use. Follow my recommendations and use plain text email and cross your fingers. At our church, which is a larger group, I just quit doing reports. It makes life a lot easier.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Wave fingers, make faces: The future of computing at Intel

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 November 2013 10:11 pm

Anil Nanduri, an Intel executive working on perceptual computing, demos technology that senses users’ individual fingers.


(Credit:
Shara Tibken/CNET)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If the next big wave in devices turns out to be gestures and eye tracking, Intel wants to be ready.

Intel is the king of PCs, but it hasn’t always been ahead of evolving innovations. Its processors power more than 80 percent of the world’s computers and the vast majority of its servers, but Intel has made little headway in smartphones and tablets. To spur interest in PCs again, as well as persuade more mobile device makers to use its chips, Intel has devoted significant resources and efforts to something it calls “perceptual computing.”

Perceptual computing may sound like a jargony, marketing term, but it does just what it says — it uses the senses to help technology interpret what’s going on around it. Those features, such as gestures, facial recognition, and voice recognition, should all make devices more “natural, intuitive, and immersive,” says Anil Nanduri, one of the Intel executives in charge of the company’s efforts in perceptual computing.

Inside Intel’s perceptual computing lab (pictures)

The goal is getting “sensory inputs that make [computers] more human like,” Nanduri said. “Once you give computers the ability to assess depth, a lot of wonderful things can happen.”

Devices will be able to sense emotion and detect a person’s biometric data simply using a camera. They’ll be able to carry on conversations with users and understand context — or what “play me some jazz” means — instead of simply following commands. Computers will be able to pick out individual fingers instead of simply recognizing an entire hand or the fact that a person is present. And they’ll create more immersive augmented reality, such as digital versions of children’s pop-up books.

In the case of Intel, the company is placing particular emphasis on vision and teaching devices to recognize depth. That’s made possible through 3D cameras. The company has partnered with Creative on 3D cameras, which should show up integrated into devices such as PCs and
tablets in the second half of 2014.

A big pitfall for companies like Intel is the hyper focus on speeds and feeds, making technology that’s the most powerful without necessarily considering all the ways it might be used. For perceptual computing, Intel says it’s starting with software and users first and then moving to the hardware.

To do that, Intel released a software development kit last year to get developers interested in the technology. Since that time, the SDK has been downloaded more than 26,000 times. Intel is so serious about perceptual computing that it has even sponsored contests — with $100 million in prizes — to get app developers interested in the technology. Intel will announce the latest crop of winners soon.

“For the users, what am I getting for it?” Nanduri said. “That’s why we started a year early, focusing on the ecosystem more so than talking about bringing this into hardware or a device.”

Yuriy Kozachuk, an application engineer in Intel’s perceptual computing lab, demos technology that tracks facial expressions and translates them to characters in a game.


(Credit:
Shara Tibken/CNET)

But now Intel believes the ecosystem has advanced enough that it’s time to talk hardware. Devices will show up next year that contain elements of Intel’s perceptual computing efforts. And it hopes all of those will use its chips. Technically, some features could be possible using chips such as those from Qualcomm. However, Intel says the amount of horsepower needed to run the features smoothly will require its higher-end chips.

Initially, the perceptual computing features will only work with Intel’s Core line traditionally used in PCs and some tablets, not its lower-power Atom line used in mobile devices. However, the company plans to eventually make the features run on its more energy efficient processors, and it’s also adding accelerators, tools, and graphics to its chips to take advantage of the perceptual computing capabilities.

“We’re already thinking ahead and looking at the use cases people need two to three years out from now and putting them into our silicon,” Nanduri said.

Some elements of perceptual computing have already shown up in products. The Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox is one example, as are Siri and Google Now for voice recognition. However, Intel says it’s taking those a step further by focusing on short-range interaction of less than a meter. That means the technology needs a very fine level of recognition, with the ability to pick out specific fingers instead of just noticing an arm or if entire person is present.

But it still will be a challenge for Intel to make features that are truly useful and not just gimmicky. Intel acknowledges that gesturse and other features won’t be ideal for all instances. Computer users, for instance, won’t be making slideshows by waving their hands in the air. But they might use gestures when showing the slideshow to friends.

Gaming, in particular, is one area where perceptual computing could really take off, Nanduri said, as well as education and related fields. And it’s not just about PCs. This technology will show up in a wide range of devices in the coming years, he said.

The company is sure to provide more details and demos in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“Perceptual computing is about everything and is device agnostic in many ways,” Nanduri said. “It’s going to be everywhere.”

VIDEO: Ben Golub, CEO Docker

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 November 2013 4:11 pm

The modern world of virtualization has largely been dominated with virtual machine hypervisor technologies like VMware, KVM and Xen, but there are alternatives. Among them is the increasingly popular Docker open-source container technology.

Docker issued the 0.7 release of its namesake technology today, expanding the base of its support to all major Linux distributions. In a video interview with eWEEK, Docker Inc. CEO Ben Golub explains the company’s promise and where it’s headed.

Docker Inc., formerly known as dotCloud, recently rebranded to the Docker name. Golub joined the company in April, after a successful exit from Gluster Inc., which he sold to Red Hat for $136 million in 2011. The lessons that Golub learned from his experience at Gluster are informing his decision-making and the direction he is taking for Docker.

“What I learned from Gluster is, if you want to be open-source and you want to make a difference, you have to be radically different and present a significantly newer way of doing things,” Golub said. “With Docker, what we’re really doing is taking a model of building and deploying code that has been broken for a while and replacing it with a radically simple idea to containerize code and make it possible to really build once and ship anywhere.”

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Open-Source Docker Aims to Reinvent Virtualization With Containers

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Is it Time to have RFID Protected Physical Wallets?

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Thursday 28 November 2013 4:11 pm

In the modern world, keeping safe is now evolving from just keeping an eye on your purchases and your physical wallet to being aware of unseen digital risks too. I recently saw a wallet in a retail store that included a feature I had never before seen: radio frequency identification (RFID) protection.

On the side of the wallet’s box was a description of what this RFID protection is all about:

“This item is made with a special lining that acts as a protective shield for ID and credit cards. It can help to prevent hackers from accessing the information contained on the microchip.”

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Do You Need RFID Protection for Your Real Wallet?

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Next Page »